Director General of WTO Commends the Government

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General, Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo (2nd right), engages in discussion with Jamaica Promotions Corporation President, Diane Edwards (left), during a tour of the Kingston Container Terminal on January 18. The tour was part of Ambassador Azevêdo’s three-day official visit to Jamaica, from January 17 to 19, at the invitation of the Government.

Story Highlights

  • Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo, has lauded the strategies implemented by Government to facilitate trade and to ensure the ease of doing business in the country.
  • The World Bank Doing Business 2015 Report revealed that Jamaica moved up 27 places from the 85th position it held in the 2014 report to 58 last year, among 189 countries.
  • Jamaica now has the Caribbean’s highest ranking in the ease of doing business.

Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo, has lauded the strategies implemented by Government to facilitate trade and to ensure the ease of doing business in the country.

“You cannot have successful trade policies without having an environment which is friendly for business and I think Jamaica has done a tremendous effort in this area, moving up in the ranking of the ease of doing business list,” he said.

The World Bank Doing Business 2015 Report revealed that Jamaica  moved up 27 places from the 85th position it held in the 2014 report to 58 last year, among 189 countries. Jamaica now has the Caribbean’s highest ranking in the ease of doing business.

Speaking recently on the JIS television programme, ‘Issues and Answers’, Ambassador Azevêdo said that trade facilitation is extremely important, particularly in island states, “where inter-connectivity is a problem, where the cost of trade is usually higher and lack of scale, because of the size of the economy.”

“So, lowering the cost of doing trade is absolutely fundamental if you want to benefit from trade and Jamaica is taking tremendous steps in that direction,” he added.

The Director General emphasized that for countries to be fully integrated into the global markets, they must offer the right trade environment.

“If you are not, you are going to be left behind. It is not about the size of the economy, it’s about the platform that that country offers for investors and for companies who want to do business, not only for the domestic market, but globally,” he said.

To achieve the right platform for trade, Ambassador Azevêdo said there must be a coherent strategy that looks at all the elements of the productive chain, adding that government and the private sector cannot do it alone.

“There is no single recipe. Each country will have to find the right ingredients for a recipe that will make a successful trade environment,” he argued.

Ambassador Azevêdo, who was in Jamaica for three days, met with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; senior government officials and private sector organizations.

The WTO is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

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